Sunday, May 15, 2022

"Cotton Gin Office"...


 

"Cotton Gin Office"

This is another from my series on this Cotton Gin.
Important: I did get approval from the property owner to photograph this property.
This photo shows the front of the office building. Notice how surprising the front door has retained its structure. I almost suggest that the ghosts are still trying to cash their checks.  I left the exposure long during several frames and found the grasses moving although there wasn't any wind.

A brief history of Dick Hunt and the cotton gin:
In the 1930's, Heber Springs was the largest town in Cleburne County, with a population of 1,400 residents. A nearby Post Oak school was a two-room school with two teachers. The average school year might be six months since children were often needed on the farm. In these days, receiving an 8th grade education was considered educated by Cleburne County standards.  

This cotton gin was built in the 1930's by Dick Hunt. Dick lost his father when he was 11 years old, which soon left him to take responsibility to help his mother with six children. Some say this pushed him to become a great leader, one who would eventually be one of the most successful businessmen in Cleburne County. He married in the early 1920's and eventually had five sons and three daughters. He and his wife farmed through the late 1920's, then as the depression continued, he pursued other venues. He tried a "rolling store" (horse-drawn wagon), then later a truck. He was also known for carrying mail by horseback and operated several passenger buses. He built three cotton gins and other various drilling businesses.

Dick bought this cotton gin in Texas and had it shipped/moved to Heber Springs. He and his sons worked the Gin. Horse-drawn wagons carried cotton to the Gin. Dick Hunt had the only cotton gin in the northeast section of Cleburne County. Sometimes wagons were lined up the length of a football field waiting for their cotton to be ginned. Dick Hunt also had the largest mercantile store in Cleburne County. While some farmers waited for their cotton, they would buy a 'soda pop' and candy from Mr. Hunt's store. You could buy a hamburger and coke for thirty cents.

In 1949, the Arkansas State Legislature passed a law to consolidate the small one and two-room schools.  In the fall of 1949, students from Post Oak were transferred to West Side Public School. This was the first time these students had an opportunity to ride a school bus. In the early 1960's, the Greers Ferry Dam and Lake was completed, covering the land which cotton had thrived, consequently slowing cotton production to a halt.

Heber Springs, Arkansas.
Photo # IMG_1627-41_hdrMonoc.
(c) Kelly Shipp

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

"Self Reflection"...




This is a self-portrait from a few years back when I was photographing an old Cotton Gin. I found myself gazing across the landscape.
Why is it that we find self reflection easier when we are gazing across farm land? Does it reflect on our ancestral background? Or does it reflect upon a simpler life, allowing for easier self reflection?
You may notice the ghostly appeal of this photograph. Partial credit goes to my choice of using infrared photography and the other are choices in my exposure and timing.

Location: central Arkansas.
Photo # IMG_2032_2039mod1b.
(c) Kelly Shipp.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

"The Farm Shop"...

A few years back, I had the privilege and approval to photograph interiors of the old, closed Laneburg High School in southwest Arkansas. This shelf of books was inside the "Shop" building of the school campus.
This photograph tells a variety of stories. Surprisingly, the books are in decent shape given their age. The greater story is the irony of the title of the series of books on the left: "Hunger Signs in Crops". The reason for the irony is that an increasing number of high schools are dropping their shop classes. This begs questions of the future education of farming and shop skills, much less the exposure of such during high school that carries into further education.
 


 

Hope you enjoy and comments are welcome.


Detail: Shop books, Shop building, Laneburg High School, Laneburg, Arkansas.
Built in the early 1900's, the Laneburg school was consolidated with four other school districts in 1985.
Photo # IM5_3993.
(c) Kelly Shipp.

Friday, April 1, 2022

"The Giants of Woolly Hollow"...



Sunlight peeks through the tall canopies in the forest.
Woolly Hollow State Park, Arkansas.
Photo # DSC_0220bws.

Friday, March 18, 2022

"A Moment in Snow"...

This Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) paused to look across the snowy landscape. I have many photographs of squirrels, but occasionally one simply gets my attention more than others.
Hope you enjoy.

Color photograph converted to black-and-white.
Location: Conway, Arkansas.
Photo # 1029_ks20401bw



Monday, March 14, 2022

"Tree Mysteries II"...

This is another in a series I shot of trees and their mysteries.
The early morning infrared light is bouncing off the ground-covered snow almost appearing as fog.

Photo # IM5_7453s4.
(c) Kelly Shipp



Sunday, February 27, 2022

"Tree Mysteries"...

Trees have many mysteries - some we understand and some we have yet to.

Location: Arkansas.
Photo # IM5_7193abwsq.